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Favorite book:
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Favorite movie:
most Judd Apatow movies

Favorite place you’ve visited:
Xcaret, Cancun Mexico

Name Sophia LaRoche, MSEM ’15
Position Quality Assurance Supervisor, Genzyme
Education before Tufts B.S. Biology, Biotechnology concentration, Suffolk University
Work experience before Tufts Genzyme, Quality Control Microbiology Supervisor

Where were you in your career and what drove your decision to go back to school?
My transition to a leadership role happened fairly quickly in my career, and after a few years it occurred to me that whatever skill sets got me into the role were probably not going to cut it at the next level, or the level after that. Working in a very specialized, highly technical, globally regulated field that manufactures lifesaving medicines, I felt driven to pursue a higher education that would sharpen my business and leadership skills so that I could more effectively impact quality decisions to support the needs of our patients. I am hopeful that these skill sets will set me apart and give me a competitive edge in future leadership roles.

Why did you choose to pursue a M.S. in Engineering Management at Tufts?
The MSEM program appealed to me as a program that would provide a perfect combination between leadership, technology, and business learning objectives that I could directly apply to my current and future job roles. In addition to the curricula content, the weekend schedule appealed to me because it worked perfectly with my current work schedule. I really appreciated how Tufts coordinated everything from the classes to dinners each class day, providing the books, and working closely with students for tuition reimbursement. Already having a demanding work schedule, it was a relief to know that Tufts would take care of the administrative aspect to make the experience more streamlined and easier on my end.

Has there been a professor or module that has impacted you and why?
The module that has most impacted me so far is Learning to Lead. This course has pushed me out of my comfort zone and has challenged my mental models of my own leadership strengths and short comings. The lessons learned from this course can be immediately applied to my day to day job to improve my existing relationships and foster new ones. It has forced me to be more introspective than I normally would feel comfortable doing which has allowed me to learn valuable lessons that I may not have had the opportunity to uncover if I were not taking the module.